Take the Guesswork Out of Gardening: We Try Out the Edyn Garden Sensor Take the Guesswork Out of Gardening: We Try Out the Edyn Garden Sensor
The Edyn Garden Sensor is a nifty all-in-one type of device that puts advance gardeners in control of their gardens while taking the guesswork out for beginners. We tried one out on our own gardens to see what we could learn from it.
First things first, this sturdy device is meant to live permanently in your garden. It’s solar-powered with a battery backup, and connects to its companion app via Wi-Fi. Multiple sensors can be connected to a single account on the app, but for our testing we just used one. Each sensor will give data for 250 feet, but if you have multiple water zones, etc, you may need more. The sensor will give real-time data for moisture, light, nutrition, and humidity, while also looking into the local weather and general soil data to give customized gardening info and guidance.
The device is beautifully designed, very minimalistic, but strong and with a cheerful yellow color. It’s about a foot long, less than 3” wide, and is mainly a large spike filled with sensors. Set up was simple: there’s a button underneath to turn it on, and the app walked us through the setup process, quickly syncing to the device and asking a few questions about where we were placing it. You can use the Edyn indoors or outdoors, in a garden or potted plant, basically anywhere your plants are. After the initial setup, we had no trouble placing it in the soil. Even in hard-packed dirt the Edyn held firm, staying straight and undamaged.
We installed ours in the evening, and had to wait a little for the sensor to get accurate data, especially since it had no sunlight to measure. The next day we checked the app and saw each section populated with information. The app has an intuitive and clean feel to it: the four data points are shown in a central diamond that visually changes to help you spot problems quickly. Clicking on will show an expanded graph for each, and can be viewed by the day, week, month, and year. We liked this visual layout, and the amount of data that can be stored can help users see historical trends in their gardens to make informed decisions later.
The app will give optimization tips for each data point, and even send push notifications when something is amiss. We were immediately told our moisture levels were dangerously low and to add water to our garden.
It’s important to give the Edyn sensor time to update. It seems to average results over the day so it won’t send a false reading. However, this does mean users should be careful to not overcompensate. For example, when watering, the moisture won’t show up instantly on the device, so you shouldn’t keep the hose on until it does. It also needs time to let changes settle. For example, soil nutrition is measured through a soil’s conductivity, and thus can be skewed when adding fertilizer right after watering. This would be seen with any type of sensor, the Edyn is no different, so patience is key when adjusting conditions in your garden.
Beyond real-time data, the Edyn sensor and app want to help you plan your garden and maintain it properly. The app contains a plant database with over 5,000 varieties to learn about. Once you decide to add a plant, the app will give recommendations based on the data from your garden. All plants can be filtered by plant types (such as herbs, flowers, and vegetables) and difficulty level. Users can even rate different plants to help others choose. Each plant has a photo, an overview guide for soil type, ideal conditions, description, and planting guide.
If you’d like to add a plant, the app will then ask you if you’re starting with seeds or a starter plant to get an idea of where you are in the plant’s life cycle. There’s no option for mature plants, which is a shame if you’ve already had a garden for a while, but you can get around this by selecting starter plant and then selecting a past date when it next asks when you started it.
Once you’ve set up your garden, the app will then track plant growth. It will tell you tips for the particular season, such as ways to get the best flavor out of your growing veggies, tell you the next milestone in the plant’s life, let you know when a plant is dormant, and give you advice (as well as notifications) when it’s time to prune, harvest, etc.
Overall this app was very well-designed and gave a large amount of info using the database and garden sensor data. We’ve seen garden sensors for specific data needs, but the Edyn Garden Sensor brought it all together in a convenient and proactive way. As with many smart devices and apps, this does have the potential to expand, and I look forward to where the technology and app features can go. The next step for Edyn is currently the Water Valve, which will start shipping this spring. The valve will connect to your hose and take readings from the sensor to automate watering. We’re excited for that type of accessory, as it should easily take care of one of the most forgotten garden chores, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or demanding plant types.
As of this review, the Edyn Garden Sensor is available through Home Depot, either in stores or online for $99. The app is available on both iPhone and Android devices for free.